The spiritual “marketplace” is open for buyers! The “office world” has expanded its domain from the mundane to the divine! 🙂
It is a big confusion out there. “Seekers” want something, but they don’t know what that is.
Yesterday, I was with a “spiritual group.” The leader started out reading D. Chopra. The theme of his explanation was “ I am the Universe.”
Evidently someone did not find that interesting and started talking about the “burden of the body and his desire to fly.” Then, someone spoke in a lengthy fashion about being “a flying yogi.” She could fly (levitate/ move around through astral body) while meditating and like her, there were others. Interest appeared, the “I want that too” took over. Finally, someone spoke about meditation and how Science has proven that “meditation is good for you.” This person informed the audience that “meditation can cure many illnesses and make you peaceful by setting up the day for you.”
As I open my email, someone is selling “Tantra.” It can cure ED (erectile dysfunctions) she claimed, and give fantastic orgasms… Not only that, it can also give “illumination.”
What are you looking for?
Do you want to claim “I am the Universe,” even though, your consciousness shows that you are only your ego?
Do you want to fly and say “I can fly, you don’t” and accumulate “flying miles’ points”?
Isn’t meditation the “new thing”? look at all the benefits! We don’t have to DO a thing! Just sit there, close your eyes, repeat a mantra, put some incense, some light music on…But remember to pay to “learn” the technique… better say, give a “Love donation.”
Is Tantra the “magic pill”? Look, you get it all! “Magical thinking” has never been so good! Just bring your plastic (Visa/MC) or your paper money to keep the magic going!
Whoever invented “$$pirituality” created the “elixir of Life.” People are looking for hope to resolve their apparent unsolvable issues. After scientific research is left aside due to its limitations, anything will do. This is good! It creates openness in individuals, it brings them hope and desire for quality of Life.
All of the above is part of the journey of many. Needed experiences that will make them grow, change, transform… but the question remains: What are you looking for?
Thus, go look around! Search for saviors, gurus, god, spirits, ego trips, blissful pleasures! You will learn a lot if AWARE, if not; your search will continue “improving”: Money, power, status, greed in this Life and the one after… Eternal Life!
Until awareness knocks at your door. Are you AWARE?
Who is searching? Isn’t it “I”? Who is that “I”? Aren’t you the “Universe”? Why go into the immensity of “out there” when you can go “in there”? Is there truly a difference between “out there” and “in there”?
Whenever you look in, what do you see? Is that you?
Now we are cooking!
The search is over when you find NOTHING rather than SOMETHING. Even though we may know this intellectually, we must go through the process to KNOW that the object of search does not matter. What matters is the process of searching. That is , Life experiences. 🙂
A religious person is someone who has built an ego.
His belief, the religion he represents, his behavior are representations of an ideal. That defined ideal is significative for the presence of ego.
It is the same scenario for a “mundane” employee of company “XYZ.” As long as there is identification with that company, there will be ego.
There is nothing wrong with defending something we believe in, but the keyword to note is IDENTIFIED with that which we believe in.
For instance, I could believe in Christian teachings, but if I am willing to fight and kill, to give my life for a belief, that is extreme identification, extreme ego. We may praise those as “saints,” but that is just extreme ego. “I am a Christian.” That is ego.
A “spiritual” person cannot define himself with a belief, a religion, a tradition. Otherwise, his views are narrowed down to HIS beliefs. That is ego.
Similarly, a seeker who wants to “find” God, is merely trying to fulfill his ego.
How is that?
Why would someone want to find God?
To be saved? To go to paradise? To become “special”? To get favors from him? To be taught by him, so this seeker can teach others?
All of those things are just ego trips… but nothing wrong with that. 🙂
A seeker wanting an “experience” with God, with cloud nine and its blissful purple golden light… so he can feel “special,” a “chosen one” is pampering his ego. That seeker will be happy with that experience, for he will feel “unique, special, a selected one.”
That is exactly what ego needs to survive, to become bigger.
A “true” seeker is not searching for “experiences” that he can talk about to others. A “true seeker” is only looking to find himself.
That is the search that a seeker cannot talk about. That search will not make him “special” under anyone’s eyes.
When a religion has a belief system which claims to be the “truth,” there will be another belief system with opposite beliefs which will claim to be the “truth” as well.
Paradoxically, because they are opposite, both are truth.
Because the Totality entails everything, the “yes and the no.”
That is why, a partial belief system wanting to embrace only one side of the duality, is not really teaching the “truth” but is merely a method for the follower to find his own truth.
How? When you identify yourself with one side of a duality, you will need to be aware of your rejection of the other side. That rejection creates ego. If you are not AWARE of that ego, you will not know what ego is. You will only have concepts, definitions; that is another way to distract your awareness.
That is why, at the end of the road, religions, philosophies, and gurus do not matter as source of “truth,” but as methods for inner search.
Some may think: “When the ego searches for God, that will be a failure, right?”
No. It will be a necessary experience for the ego to increase its size until is ready to blow up, to be torn apart through the experience of surrendering that ego.
Why do you write so much about ego?
Because happiness, love, compassion, surrendering, joy and gratitude are only pretty words used in some political/religious talk, without any meaning until ego is confronted.
Most are lost in beliefs, worship, rituals and traditions hoping to get “heaven” or some other “golden star in their chart” when they die. They are not aware of their ego minds, they are not aware that unless the “I” disappears, there cannot be that “divinity” that they are searching for.
In a nutshell, “God” is always there, but you cannot be in communion with Him, because “You” are there.
When we are empty and not full of ourselves, we may discover it.
Ralph put a cologne on as he was getting ready to go to the “office world.” In the process, he remembered that he had to clean the kitchen before going to work.
Because Ralph wasn’t in the “moment,” he did not remember if he put the cologne on after a couple of minutes. He didn’t even try to smell the cologne on him, but he went directly where he thought that he put the cologne last time.
The cologne wasn’t there.
Ralph started looking for it frantically. He wasn’t able to see it… Actually the cologne was on that table as he left it before; but his awareness in that moment did not allow him to see it.
At that point, Ralph remembered the words of wisdom of one of the teachings he heard at one time: “If you lose something, don’t look for it and it will come back to you.”
Ralph went to the kitchen to clean it up. While he was doing that, he forgot about the existence of the cologne… He emptied his mind…
With a new consciousness, he went to his bedroom again… and there it was!
Thanks to that experience, Ralph understood the real meaning of “ if you lose something, don’t look for it.”
That teaching may not make sense for the “office world” mentality for it is paradoxical.
“Look for it … and you will find it.” Do something. Don’t be lazy. Keep at it. Don’t waste time, for it is money.. not life… but money. 🙂
Isn’t that the mind-set ?
If we are looking for joy, for peace and we have in our minds something that we think or identify as joy or peace… we will not find it, we will only have definitions and ideas about it.
We may have had an experience of peace, and then we may want to repeat the experience, perhaps to join a club where “others” had the same experience… Peace is not something that “we make” but something that happens when the “me” is not there. Do we search for peace or do we become aware of that “me”? 🙂
We are searching for something that is stuck in our mind. We want that particular something… nothing else.
A mind obsessed with obtaining things cannot see even the obvious.
Whether we experience that peaceful experience again or not is not the issue… that will come if is meant to happen at its right time… in the meantime, enjoy.
The issue is whether we found the operation of our minds. That is the beginning of an aware individual.
When we learn something in life, when someone shares something to us from their experience, that is not meant to be blindly followed to the “dot.”
To do that is to be an unconscious “follower.” That is not “bad” either, for sooner or later, we will realize… at our own time. The follower will become its own teacher.
Life needs to practically show us that which we learned in theory , then we can understand.
That is why, any “spiritual” teaching is not to be put through the filter of intellectual understanding and the dualistic mind, but rather through our own experience in life.
Life is the teacher.
Didn’t I say before that the “follower become its own teacher”?
Isn’t that a contradiction?
Ahh! Something new to experience. Don’t try to make sense of it intellectually, don’t “look for a logical answer,” and the significance will come to you. 🙂
Living life with joy. That is all.
No beliefs required.
Good “karma” for our “next life” guaranteed. 🙂
Where is that joy?
It is obviously a feeling such as Peace.
When we find peace, we find love.
When we find love… we find joy.
Are all of these things of the mind?
No. None of them. If they were coming from the mind, duality will be involved.
Love from the mind is not love. We could find out this easily by observing the duality of emotions: That love will come with fear, jealousy, insecurity, all of that. The popular “I think I love you” is all mind.
To be able to observe our own mind is of tremendous importance for the “life walker,” the “seeker.”
In that observation we could discover our emotions through their duality and the way those emotions affect our physical body.
Living with joy at this time, is a matter of going into our mind and its identification with a static self. In that journey, we will discover our beliefs and how those beliefs have affected our feelings by turning them into disruptive emotions, which gave birth to psychological traumas, taboos, fear and ultimately a heavy sense of self… which “needs to be saved” in the next life.
There is no “magical act” that could dissolve those issues. It is a matter of giving ourselves the opportunity to experience a different consciousness, for changes within are permanent in a different consciousness.
Many will follow a religious leader to “the dot,” meaning; what she did, what he said, the way he interacted, etc. The hope is: “I want that for me.” A good ego-building method.
That is irrational.
Experiences are different for every individual. Circumstances are different. Perceptions are different. The world changes. It has always been like that. Why don’t we want to consider that?
The static self will not allow it. It is easier to follow than to do the inner work.
We need to be willing to start the journey with one step. Life will help us with another step. We are not alone.
Life is already made. Everything is there and will happen at the right time… However, “my own little world” has many closed windows which are giving me the perception of darkness. A bright, beautiful day is awaiting outside that “self” confinement.
Someone has to open those windows!
Do we want for God to do it for us?
It is our own world. Our own creation. Life is just a mirror.
Here is where awareness comes into the picture. One day, we will wonder about those windows. If the door is closed and we feel that there is no way out, then suffering will arrive to compel us to move out, to “do” something. Many will wait until the pain is unbearable and then will jump out through the windows in desperation.
Life has many methods for someone to reach their path in life.
Those methods could be called fear, beliefs, diseases. The method is not the destination, but merely another way for that journey to continue on… until oh…dear…we realize that everything is within.
At that point, there is no need to walk any further away from me.
The search is over.
Until that moment… 🙂
Some of us may have had the experience of what we could label as “Godly experience.”
Those experiences come in different shapes and forms all according to our beliefs.
That particular experience was the “bait” needed to start a particular path, to gain a different consciousness.
Please be aware that the keyword is consciousness.
In life, we may want to make sense of it. We may want to find reasons for it and for our existence and the experiences will be there to start our journey. Nevertheless as shared many times, everyone has a different point of reference, a different culture and upbringing, which definitely will influence our “free will” and our ability to interpret things.
Please be aware of the keyword: Interpretation.
In life we are like those blind people, who are trying to make sense of what they can perceive through their sense of touch. It is an elephant , but a blind person touching the tail will believe that an elephant is like a snake. If that person had a “Godly experience” while touching the tail, that is not meant so he can keep his belief in the tail being the elephant, but rather it is the starting point in knowing the elephant. The tail is not the elephant but part of it.
Consciousness changes, it evolves but a hard-core belief, typically restricts that free-flow movement.
Many will decide to touch different paths: The trunk, the tusks, ears, etc. but still they will be left with interpretations. Touching is just one way to partially know something. It is a state of consciousness.
Nevertheless, religions and philosophies many times are preaching a point of view. The tail of the elephant is a path to know the elephant. But it is not the only path.
The “Godly bait” was given to some people so they could begin to fish. The type of fishing pole that someone picks will be according to that person’s circumstances.
What the person is able to fish will be according to his fortune; that is, what that person is supposed to experience at that time.
Fishing a shark or a Tilapia and calling that “the truth” or God is not really the teaching. It is not about what we get, but it is about finding the individual behind the fishing pole.
Blind people could never “see” an elephant. They could only have beliefs about that elephant or hand-me down experiences from others, which are beliefs.
Nevertheless, it is not about the elephant. It is about the realization that what goes outside is a giant mirror always pointing to that “Me.” Hopefully “I” learn to enjoy that experience.
Touch the tail. Enjoy that. Touch the husks. Enjoy that. Be there.
Paradoxically, it is when “you” are not there, that is when the ego starts dissolving, how we could perceive something different. At that point, all there is … is the elephant… and there is “no-one” there who needs to “see” something. No “blind people” around.
Being the elephant itself resides in non-being.
All religions may teach about the sense of “I,” the ego; but many times rather than looking at that which is in “us,” we rather go around the branches of the tree and embrace colorful beliefs and life styles, completely unaware that the big mirror is only reflecting “me” at all times.
The bait of the “Godly experience” wasn’t there to be worshiped or to hang on to it as a dogma.
Guaranteed …or your money back. 🙂
Searching for “truth,” could take someone through different paths.
That which makes you look forward to living. That which gives you passion to live.
In that search there maybe different paths:
Religious paths, “self-created” paths out of conceptual understanding, and the path of “doing what everyone does,” all of those paths will bring different experiences.
Religious paths are ways of reforming the self. In other words, the belief that we are “sinful” beings who need to be reformed to align with some “plan.”
That is, God’s plan or some other “elevated” vision of whom I should be. The issue is that most of the time, the emphasis on changing into a virtuous being, is surrounded and manipulated by rituals and devotional practices which are meant so we can belong to a particular creed, rather than allowing that person to explore his own limits and discover by himself what being virtuous is all about.
After all, it is truly a pathless path which may need a little “push” from “up above” to get us started.
Therefore, that original reform becomes a source of dependency, that is “I am virtuous, or I am with God as long as I belong to that particular path.” With that narrowed vision of what is truly meant to be unlimited, universal and wholesome; fear will be built rather than trust in life, in my own capacity and abilities.
That is, doubting in my own honesty to be spiritual.
Thus, someone is not spiritual just because that person does not practice a particular ritual, but because there is no sense of inner balance and inner beauty in their life; harmony is lacking. In a sentence:
“When the smile in the face does not come from serenity of the heart.”
“Self-created paths,” means to create your own flavor according to the whim of the moment. There is the danger of misunderstanding in this path.
For instance if I want to try Taoism as a guiding path, there is the main teaching there of “being natural” and doing what is “natural.”
Obviously this word “natural” may get interpreted in different ways according to my whims and my state of consciousness.
Thus, doing what is “natural” may not be what is “right.”
For that reason, it may be important to start our spiritual quest through the direction of some sort of reformation.
Why is reformation important?
Because as long as a person does not know about his “higher” destination in life (other than getting a great job, a big house and a beautiful partner,) that person will be lost in life. What we are looking in life is not something more to “do,” BUT to “BE.”
Peace, serenity, love…those are not small things to “be.”
Those things cannot be bought with money or degrees or social status.
If that is your goal and you do not know where to start, you may need to look into reforming the self, for the “brainwashing” of “doing” before “being” needs to get out of our system.
Then, your search has truly started.
The Path of “doing what everyone does,” is the path to be like everyone. More “doing.” That simply means entropy. Going down.
Why is that?
Because it is the world of duality, the world of search for pleasure over pain. The world of “me” versus “them.” The world of divisions, the world of “getting things done.”
None of the above mentioned paths is the “only path.” As a matter of fact, different combinations of those paths will be experienced by many.
In life we can recognize that there are no 2 people who are the same. Similarly, there cannot be 2 paths which are alike.
Nevertheless, “true” spirituality starts with a search. It has to be a search of something, which we know exists, even though we cannot put it in words. We cannot search for something, which we do not know what it is.
Life will bring the other ingredients towards finding that which we are looking for according to our sincerity, our honesty.
Then, honesty is the most important part in “being spiritual.”
Spirituality is for those who are sincere, honest. For those who are not afraid of viewing themselves as who they are, without covers. For those who do not perform to satisfy the “normal” status quo. For those who do not pretend.
It is in the heart of that main virtue of honesty, where all other virtues could appear.
Life will only peel the layers of confusion out, so the gem could shine. Chiseled by the experiences of living life; it will be bright; all by itself, as the sun rises in the horizon dispelling the clouds of confusion of the mind.